Ben Phiri launches onslaught on critics, denies being overnight billionaire: ‘I worked hard for my money’
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) director of operations Ben Phiri on Sunday launched an onslaught on his critics who say he has become an overnight billionaire through dubious means, saying they need to work hard to
reach where he is instead of harbouring envy.
Speaking in a radio interview, Phiri , who has been President Peter Mutharika’s long-time Special Adviser and Assistant, said he worked extra hard to reach where he is.
The former presidential top aide said he had stepped down from his position to pave the way for people who have been accusing him of corruption to prove their case.
“I resigned from State House soon after these reports started circulating. I asked the State to investigate me thoroughly, that is why I did not to cling to the State House job because people would have thought that the President was protecting me,” said Phiri.
He said up to now, no State agency has come back to him to say he had been charged with corruption or theft or abuse of office charges.
“This shows I am clean, so those people who say I accumulated my wealth through evil, let them come forward to prove it. They need to work extra hard if they are to reach where I am,” said.
In an earlier interview with Nyasa Times, Phiri showed documents of how he took bank loans to buy houses.
“I even kept my small allowances whenever I accompanied the President on his tours when my friends were busy drinking beer and doing other things,” said Phiri at his printing empire, Beata and the upmarket accommodation facility.
Asked if he was still very close to President Mutharika, Phiri said he no longer works for him at State House and refused to say whether he still meets the Malawi leader for a talk or two.
“That is personal but you should no that I am no longer at State House and he is the State president,” said Phiri.
During interview with Zodiak radio, former First Lady Callista Mutharuka responding to a journalist question that a Ben Phiri is among the potential names mentioned to take over the DPP mantle, she said that would be a “gratuitous insult” to Malawians.
“Umenewo ungakhale nyozo (That would be an insult). I have never heard about that, but, if true, that would be a gratuitous insult. Malawians are not stupid. What is your personal take on that? Do you think the people you are mentioning can rule a country? I mean, can they govern? Can the they steer the ship in the right direction? Can the poor be uplifted from the doldrums of poverty? Some people think it is easy to take advantage of the low literacy rate in our rural areas, so they just wake up and say ‘I can be president.’ It’s not that easy,” said the former first lady.
“Let me make a plea to the people in our rural areas: when you hear so-and-so plans to contest as president, ask carefully: what kind of education has he or she had? What are his or her plans? Aren’t these the very same thieves plundering government entities? They need to ask themselves those questions,” she said bluntly.
The journalist pressed Callista further to explain what was wrong with Ben Phiri not to be eligible to run for president.
In her response, Callista said she had no intention to speak further on specific individuals, but said “just do your research and look carefully into their personal stories. I will not say anything more than that. Find out what people out there say.”
During the interview, Callista pointed out that Malawians are engulfed by too much fear.
“ Why is that so? God protects us. Let us learn to speak the truth, to stand for what is right. In addition, let us not deceive the masses in rural areas, to whom we go masquerading as philanthropists, yet these so-called philanthropists are thieves, stealing from your government, stealing from public entities . . . my plea to those stealing is please, stop that. People are suffering in rural areas. You are stealing money that could have assisted the poor.”
After two years of political sabbatical leave, he is back in the DPP as director of field operations and is aspiring to be Member if Parliament for Thyolo Central Constituency.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :
Ben Nkasala bodza. Ku Malawi it’s not easy to become rich even from business. We have seen Tuwiche going down. UDK is gone. Yanu Yanu is finished. Now Ben becomes rich through thieving and extortion. This man will have to explain. I am sure Pitala is behind all this. Callista said Pitala is surrounded by beast but he is a beast too. Birds of a feather flock together.
We have all the evidence Mr Ben Phiri. Why did you send your iliterate sister to Japan as a diplomat?
One day is one day. Musazanene kuti ndi persecution
For your own information Ralph Kasambara has been granted his licence to retain to his work as a lawyer. The first to be arrested ndi uyu Namatetule Ben
It’s true. He worked hard. Butt intercourse with an elderly man is no simple task.
Why is this thief denying his resume? Him like most mulhakho guys are beneficiaries of DPP’s NEPOTISM, thievery and corruption. Akuna chani ndiye?
Chipanda nepotism ya a lhomwe who would have known you in Malawi here? Just accept you are another LHOMWE AND aTHIEF. It’s an open secret that’s what you guys put on your RESUME to gain FAVOURS
SHAME on all THIEVES!!!.
Worked hard my foot! Mbala inu ma cadet aDPP tikukudziwani bwino you are busy looting government contracts. When Mutharika won in 2014 sima cadet nonse munakangozilowesa muzi ntchito muboma which you called pay back for campaigning for Mutharika. A good lot of you are with fake qualifications. Ena ndachina Prosper Mopiwa – Deputy Director ku OPC who masquarades as a University of Dar es Salaam Computer Science graduate which is all fake. Fake credentials munthu khomo la university salidziwa nkomwe and he is a Deputy Director muboma. ACB mugwire ntchito yanu and investigate his papers which are dud certificates. Besides,… Read more »
Yours has been a rise from rags to riches. Ben should talk as if we know him as somebody who run away to UK running away from Katapira guys. When he came back he was not doing so well until when he started the crusade of budget and section ^5 and that is when he was spoted and to reward him he was paired as Peters assistant. when Bingu died he clinged to Peter and Peter would send him to errands. In the course we learnt that he would crook indians and force get orders from government companies. Stop branging… Read more »
A Ben inu. Khalani phee! Do you know that if you make K10 billion, you should trace this to banks and taxes to MRA? Ndi msonkho ungati munalipila inu?
A Ben inu, how much tax have you paid? Fatsa, usazipachike.
My guess.. he (and most other politicians).. have paid little to no tax on any of their multiple business and personal revenues, profits and expenditures..
Let’s be realistic. People in power take advantages of their positions. Anyone would do it. Including me. Sometimes it’s even unintentional. If I have a good position at bank, private business, or government, people will automatically ‘respect’ me. If I walk into a shop or office, I will automatically be ‘treated better’ than someone perhaps less ‘well off’. This is simply human nature. It’s not just the informal advantages of holding an influential post, but also a more formal ‘system of ‘trust’’. If I want to open a bank account/loan or trade credit terms with a business, usually the application… Read more »